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Senior White House official: There is very little doubt ... that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime

Last modified: 25 Aug 2013 20:46

A senior US administration official has told Al Jazeera:

We have seen the reports that after five days of refusing to allow the UN investigative team immediate and unimpeded access to the site of a reported August 21 chemical weapons attacks, the regime may allow access tomorrow.

If the Syrian government had nothing to hide and wanted to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons in this incident, it would have ceased its attacks on the area and granted immediate access to the UN – five days ago.

At this juncture, the belated decision by the regime to grant access to the UN team is too late to be credible, including because the evidence available has been significantly corrupted as a result of the regime’s persistent shelling and other intentional actions over the last five days.

Based on the reported number of victims, reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured, witness accounts, and other facts gathered by open sources, the U.S. intelligence community, and international partners, there is very little doubt at this point that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians in this incident.

We are continuing to assess the facts so the President can make an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons.”

[Al Jazeera sources]